Symbolic Feather Meanings
for Tattoo Ideas

meaningful feather tattoo ideas

Meaningful Feather Tattoo Ideas

Feather tattoo ideas are often centered around a Native American themed, but not always. In most tribal wisdom, feather meanings deal with the power of birds. Native Americans used feathers in ritual because they knew the spirit of the bird was represented by the feather. Bird spirits are extremely powerful in purifying the spirit and cleansing the energetic environment. Waving a feather over a sacred fire with pure intent is a way of uplifting the soul and expressing gratitude to bird spirits.

Native American wisdom relates to the feather as an embodiment of bird spirit. For example, eagle feathers had special meaning and were given to warriors as a tremendous honor of bravery and courage. It indicated nobility of the heart and allowed the recipient to take flight easily on journeying (both in a spiritual sense and a life-journey sense).

Feathers in Native American minds as well as many other cultures deals with communication. Feathers are often viewed as messages from the spirit world, and feather tattoos will convey powerful ideals about holy exchange. Indeed, many schools of thought believe seeing feathers on our path is a direct message from a loved one who has transitioned into the spirit side of life (deceased).

Some key ideas to keep in mind while researching your feather tattoo ideas...

Symbolic Feather Meanings

  • Hope
  • Honor
  • Freedom
  • Purity
  • Truth
  • Magic
  • Travel
  • Dreams
  • Faith
  • Uplifting
  • Promise
  • Inspiration
  • Levitation
  • High spirit
  • Weightless
  • Rejuvenation
  • Free spirit
  • Higher mind
  • Enlightenment
  • Flying high
  • Higher status
  • Transformation
  • Limitlessness
  • Soul's journey
  • Ascended thoughts
  • Spiritual messages
feather tattoo meaning

In Celtic symbolism and myth, Morrigan wore an intricate cloak of feathers (typically raven feathers) as a means to transform into a bird. Legend indicates her ability to shift into bird form allowed her higher reasoning, and a "bird's eye view" into spiritual realms. In this form she could also easily travel the earth and spy about on people of interest to her motives.

If Egyptology is your thing, then a feather tattoo might symbolize the wisdom of the goddess Maat who is a matriarchal figure of truth and justice. During mummification, Anubis and Maat compared the weight of heart against the weight of the feather to determine the purity of the soul (and eligibility for the entrance into the Afterlife without consequence). If the heart was light as a feather, the soul was deemed pure and the spirit could move freely into further evolution.

In this way, feathers are also status symbols in many cultures. Plumed knights, feathered headdresses, feathered cloaks - these are all symbolic of higher class of people - usually for the brave hearted, or the spiritual master.

A more expanded view of feather tattoos deal with thought, intellect and the higher mind. This is because feathers (birds) are associated with air, the skies, and the heavens. This also forms a logical connection with dreams, inspiration, spiritual ascension and higher intelligence.

Be sure to check out more related information about meanings of feathers and other tattoo ideas by clicking on the links at the end of this page.

An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!


Animal Symbols
Astrology Signs
Celtic Symbols
Chinese Symbols
Dream Symbols
Lucky Symbols
Love Signs
Native American Symbols
Nature Symbols
Number Meanings
Tattoo Meanings

click links below for symbolic meanings.